Labour civil war breaks out: Corbyn faces members’ fury after popular candidate dropped


THE Labour Party is at risk of being plunged into a civil war, after a parliamentary candidate was thrown out in a shock move by party bosses. Former journalist and campaigner Sally Gimson had been selected to represent Labour in Bassetlaw, Nottinghamshire, in the upcoming general elections but was removed from her post by the party’s governing body just nine days later.

The deselection has caused a row between Labour’s national executive and the local branch of Bassetlaw, who are said to be “immensely frustrated” at the decision. Once a person is elected by local members, they have to be “endorsed” by the national party before they officially become the candidate.

Ms Gimson had said she was “delighted to have been selected” by local members prior to the move by the party’s top decision-making body, the National Executive Committee (NEC).

It comes on the same day that three former Labour MPs were banned from standing by the NEC.

Ms Gimson was due to replace John Mann as Labour’s candidate for Bassetlaw to fight in the December 12 election.

She told the BBC she was informed of complaints made against her within her local party in Camden on Friday.

It is understood that the complaints relate to her time as a Camden councillor and concerned “very serious allegations concerning protected characteristics”.

One allegation is that she had shouted at a disabled party member at a Holborn and St Pancras Labour branch meeting.

The pro-Remain activist has strenuously denied the accusations, saying: “I have been condemned by a kangaroo court.”

“I have been thrown out on trumped up charges that only came to light five days ago.”

She claimed she had been “threatened not to tell anyone about what was happening and the consequences of this have kept me silent so far.”

She added: “Transparency, openness and democracy has been thrown out the window.

“Bassetlaw is the Tory’s 52nd target seat, we are a Labour marginal and this nonsense is throwing the seat away.

Lord Mann said: “The people in Bassetlaw will not accept or vote for a Momentum stooge.

“People liked Sally Gimson because she was a strong personality.

“Local people won’t have it.”

He added: “It is crude – the worst kind of student union politics.”

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Jo White, the CLP’s chair, said local members were “incandescent” over the NEC’s decision and that the process had been “opaque” and last-minute.

She said: “I joined the Labour party to campaign for a Labour government and Labour policies and to make a difference to society – and part of my commitment to that is transparency and openness and decency, and what they’ve done to her is completely the opposite of that.”

The party has said it does not comment on internal selection matters.

Three former Labour MPs were also banned from standing earlier today.

Chris Williamson, MP for Derby North, will not be allowed to stand as a candidate after saying that Labour had been “too apologetic” in responding to criticism of its handling of antisemitism claims.

Jarrow MP Stephen Hepburn was suspended from the party over sexual harassment allegations, understood to involve claims of inappropriate behaviour towards a female party member in her 20s in 2005.

Mr Hepburn said at the time of his suspension that he “completely refutes” the allegation.

Roger Godsiff, MP for Birmingham Hall Green, has been at the centre of a row for siding with protestors opposing LGBT teaching in primary schools.


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